As many of you may be aware, a conference was arranged purportedly to “bridge the gap” between mainstream climate scientists and the so-called “skeptics.”
Fred Pearce reported in an article for NewScientist that Gavin Schmidt had declined the invitation to attend because the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss. Quoting from the article:
But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss.
This isn’t a misquote — it’s just a fabrication. Schmidt has sent a letter to NewScientist objecting to someone making up such a story. Here is his letter:
In the piece entitled “Climate sceptics and scientists attempt peace deal” (http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2011/02/climate-sceptics-scientists-at.html) Fred Pearce includes a statement about me that is patently untrue.
“But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA’s Gavin Schmidt, who said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss.”
This is completely made up. My decision not to accept the invitation to this meeting was based entirely on the organiser’s initial diagnosis of the cause of the ‘conflict’ in the climate change debate. I quote from their introductory letter:
“At this stage we are planning to have a workshop where the main scientific issues can be discussed, so that some clarity on points of agreement and disagreement might be reached. We would try to stay off the policy issues, and will also exclude personal arguments.
The issues we have in mind are Medieval Warm Period, ice, climate sensitivity, and temperature data. We would hope to have smaller groups discussing these in some detail, hopefully with scientists who are very familiar with the technical issues to lead the discussion.”
Since, in my opinion, the causes of conflict in the climate change debate relate almost entirely to politics and not the MWP, climate sensitivity or ‘ice’, dismissing this from any discussion did not seem likely to be to help foster any reconciliation.
At no point did I declare that the ‘science was settled’ and that there was nothing to discuss. Indeed, I am on record as saying the exact opposite:
Pearce might well note that even I am included in the “spectrum” that “disagree[s] with Schmidt”!
Fred Pearce did not interview me for this piece. I should like to request that in future, if my views are of interest, that he (or anyone else) should actually ask me directly. I am not hard to contact.
PS. I am not a ‘leader of mainstream climate science’ either.